Chapter 14

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 14 – Faith and Practice: Shinran’s Perspective

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Multiple Choice Questions

  • 1. Which of the following statements best describes the ideal relationship between religion and human life? That religion is:
  • 2. The three Vows that were fused to provide the basis for popular Pure Land Practice are the:
  • 3. In China, Pure Land teaching was mostly regarded as a hoben. This means that it was looked upon as a teaching:
  • 4. For Shinran, the Pure Land teaching was the highest teaching because it:
  • 5. When Shinran described his process of going through the three Vows, he implied that:
  • 6. Which of the following best describes Shinran’s interpretation of the 18th Vow?
  • 7. According to Shinran, awareness of evils, imperfections and shortcomings are viewed as:
  • 8. The psychological importance that Shinran’s view of the three Vows has in modern society is that it:
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Thought Questions

1. When a person stops seeking the truth, his understanding of religion often becomes fixed, stagnant, even somewhat arrogant. This is particularly the case if that person thinks he or she has attained salvation. In light of this, what can you say about the truly religious life? About the quest for truth?

2. Why is Shinran’s understanding of the vows given in the “Larger Pure Land Sutra” unique? What makes his interpretation so distinctive?

3. What influence did Tendai thought have on Shinran’s understanding of Amida Buddha and his Vows?

4. The author says that saints and sages are only a matter of the past for many people today. Do you agree? Why or why not?

5. In your own words, try to describe Shinran’s understanding and experience of the process of turning through the three vows (sangantennyu).

6. What significance does Shinran’s awareness of religious consciousness have for contemporary life?

7. Can you identify the characteristics of modern life suggested by the text in your own experience and observations? If so, how do you think Shinran’s teaching can alleviate or resolve those issues?